Zachariah "Zak" Anani, 57, was called home suddenly by his Lord Jesus Monday, ,July 4, 2016, at the Toronto Airport, Canada as he was preparing to fly to minister in Egypt. When his luggage arrived without Zak, his brother contacted missing persons and he was discovered in his car in the airport parking lot.
Well-known in our area since 2008 for sharing his life story at churches, home meetings, as well as the Christian High School in Georgetown, Zak's heart's desire was to reach out with the gospel that totally changed his life to as many people as possible. He loved to answer questions about Islam, especially when he encountered imams. Due to his boldness and fearlessness, Zak experienced many confrontations, but they only served to make him more fervent in his Christian faith.
Born in Lebanon Christmas Day, 1958, Zak grew up being trained to become an imam, but by the age of 13 he had become a militia fighter involved in much violence. As a leader of his unit (fragment), he described himself as a very bad man who thought nothing of killing others. Then one day while in Beirut outside a movie theater, he heard a Southern Baptist missionary preaching on the street corner about Yeshua. The next day after reading aloud Matthew 11:28-30, he laid down his weapons and gave his life to Jesus Christ, never looking back. Immediately as a young man of 17, he was brought before the local imams and ordered to renounce his new faith in Christianity.
Zak refused, and from that time on he was excommunicated from the mosque and his family. Starting almost immediately and continuing through the years, attempts were made on his life, with him sustaining much physical injury. Eventually he was forced to leave the country due to threats to the church he belonged to, as well as to his wife and children. Arriving in the United States in 1997, Zak lived in Michigan for nine months, then moved to Canada as a Lebanese refugee. After a few years he gained his Canadian citizenship and sent for his wife and children. But due to continuing threats on his life, his wife shortly returned to Lebanon.
Zak has ministered to many groups of people in the U.S., as well as around the world, including Windsor, Ontario, Michigan, Georgia, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Louisiana, California, Washington, D.C., New York, Panama, Germany, Taiwan, Egypt, Nigeria and South America.
Though suffering from complications of diabetes type 1 and having to have a kidney transplant, Zak continued to travel as much as he could, with a special interest in encouraging "his MBBs", or Muslim Background Believers, in their faith. In April he had traveled to Egypt where he spoke to thousands of converts from Islam to Christianity, and was on his way back there when he died.
Zak is survived by three daughters; a brother and a sister; as well by those he called family in the body of Christ, who loved him dearly. A memorial service was held July 30 at the Vineyards Church at Windsor. If anyone would like to honor his memory, they can go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7VDxCicvXE and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Exbq0jsMMA and hear his testimony, then pass it on to others who would be inspired by the dramatic change in the heart and life of one very special man.